Coffee Shop UpdateMike Kopp, local realtor and president of Develop New Albany, recently circulated the following to DNA’s mailing list.
There's a certain amount of madness, or as one local political aspirant would say, a "curtain" level of craziness going on right now. If you haven't visited recently, you will have missed the new construction work, but that's nothing compared to what's in store over the next two months.
I'm trying to run the store (luckily, we've hired some great new employees to work with Mark and Sophie) while planning a full kitchen build-out and we've just about finalized all of our equipment selections for the new coffee shop. It will be called The Dueling Grounds Café at Destinations Booksellers, and despite previous conjectures, we're going to incorporate the shop into the bookstore building. Next year, we'll probably build a deck out back for al fresco dining where you can enjoy your hot or cold beverages, soups, sandwiches, and desserts.
We're trying to get our final plan drawings completed in the next few days so we can submit them to the state building inspector's office and then we can begin the construction of the kitchen and coffee bar. You smarties who've discovered the rear parking lot may want to avoid the back entrance for awhile, though. We'll be sealing off everything south of my office while the build-out takes place.
While I'm committed to roasting our beans on-site, the capital expenditure right now is enormous, and we are giving strong consideration to sourcing our roasted beans from one of the fine local roasters until next year.
It's official: HobKnobb Coffee will be landing downtown at the former Joy's Coffee Nook on State Street (near State and Spring). Owner Barb Fischer will offer basically what she has at her other location in Floyds Knobs, and I think it will be a welcomed establishment with a good product.
Also official: The vacant building at 501 Pearl Street (formerly the John Vernia & Son Monument Co at the corner of Pearl and Elm) has sold and chances are if you drove by today you will see improvements already being made. This space is being prepared for office occupancy and may be completed by the end of October with a new tenant.
Though we have not closed on the building, there is a new owner coming to spruce up the service station at the corner of Oak and State Streets (former known as EZ Auto). This will be a new look, and it is planned for an official NAPA Auto Center. They, too, will be a U-Haul center but the new owners plan to provide fresh landscaping, renovation and a new look for the entire building, including resurfacing the parking lot and all new lighting for property as well. This will be noticed by September 1st.
A major retailer has downtown New Albany in its sights, so we're still in the running. These folks are out of Chicago and will need 5-10k square feet. They are an “apparel and more” retailer. This will not happen until after the first of the year, should I be successful in convincing them this is where they belong.
Liquidz Bar and Grill will be opening soon at the former Russ's Tavern on E. Main Street (between Pearl and Bank), and 211 E. Main (formerly Ermin’s and B & B, next to Studio’s) is the new location for the Redmens Club as Steinert’s moves in to their new location at 401 E. Main, which had been constructed by the Redmen in 2005.
The Parthenon at 203 E. Main continues to get a facelift as the columns are being repaired, and is it being made ready for a new tenant to be announced. There are new tenants at the southeast corner of Pearl and E Main (Merchants National Bank building). It is a spa of some kind, and that’s all I know, as I did not do the deal. The people from Louisville’s Green Building hope to meet with the city this week, as we have requested an appointment. They have their eyes on the Baptist Tabernacle Church (318 E. 4th) and the Reisz Building on Main Street.
Be sure to participate in one or all of the happenings in downtown. Great things continue to be said about our Farmers Market and the new activity on Fridays at the Amphitheater. Help clear up a few things: Both Wick’s Pizza in the former Speakeasy building on State, and Toast on Market on E. Market will be open soon, and both will have liquor licenses.